The court in Utrecht, where the case was heard at the end of 2019 about the inspection report on the Utrecht Svpo school
The court in Utrecht, where the case was heard at the end of 2019 about the inspection report on the Utrecht Svpo school

Image: Editors Education Magazine

AOb fights suspension of teacher of Frisian Svpo school in court

De AOb has taken the board of the Frisian School for Personal Education (Svpo) in Hardegarijp to court to get the suspension of geography teacher Bert Mul off the table.

Last week, the Frisian media paid a lot of attention to the unrest at Tjalling Koopmans College. The school opened its doors in 2013 as the second Svpo school. Lecturers talk about the high turnover within the team and about difficult communication with the Svpo leadership. According to de Leeuwarder Courant, relations have deteriorated seriously.

At Broadcasting Friesland deed Last Saturday, teacher Bert Mul appealed to schools in the region, after signals that some students would like to leave the Svpo school. “I would like to appeal to all schools here in Friesland, the boards, the teachers. Please be generous when students of the Svpo knock on the door looking for a different, safe place to finish their secondary school.”

Also read: The price of the small class (the Education magazine February 2020)

In the report, the reporter in the schoolyard says that he spoke to a number of unnamed teachers, and that one of them mentioned a "dictatorial, rogue organization and the students are the hostages".

Recorded

That same weekend, Mul is told by his school principal that he has been suspended. Statements that the reporter has recorded from various anonymous teachers are charged to him. "That's a very strange state of affairs," responds AObdistrict manager Marja de Bree. “This teacher is being blamed for statements that he has not made, and which are not attributed to him at all in the broadcast.”

After a summons to reverse the suspension failed to respond, the AOb went to court. The summary proceedings are – for the time being – scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the court in Leeuwarden.

Svpo founders Misha van Denderen and his wife Suzan Polet contradict the unrest at the Frisian school in various messages. 'Apart from people who are taking a new step in their lives or careers, it concerns a few teachers from the upper secondary education who have rightly concluded that they do not fit the Svpo', so quotes Omroep Friesland from an email from the school board to parents.

Rechter

In the meantime, pupils, parents and staff are in the dark about the results of the broad inspection investigation into all eight Svpo schools. The reports have been adopted, but the SVPO board wants to prevent them from being published through the courts, the Education magazine reported. three weeks ago. A hearing will be held at the court in Amsterdam on this matter next Monday afternoon.

Also read: A 'gift fund' for personal education (het Onderwijsblad, August 2019)

It is the umpteenth time that Svpo takes the inspection to court. Last school year there was a lot of unrest in and around the Utrecht School for Personal Education. Van Denderen also wanted to keep the inspection report out of the public eye with a lawsuit. The school turned out to be very weak, so reported the Education magazine in November 2019. The court gave the inspection permission the extremely critical to publish the report.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Education Inspectorate only wanted to say that developments around the Frisian school are being followed.

The Education magazine previously wrote about the foggy money flows within the Svpo network (2019) and described how teachers get stuck on the rigid education model (2020).

Read also: Svpo schools in Amsterdam, Hoorn and Utrecht 'very weak'

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